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Head Chef - Mt Cook Lakeside

Head Chef - a truly unique role in a NZ Luxury Retreat

Mt Cook Lakeside Estate & Retreat
Aoraki Mount Cook, Canterbury
Chefs/Cooks (Hospitality & Tourism)
Full time

This is a truly unique position for an experienced Head Chef who has a passion for creating cuisine that will delight our high-end guests.

Nestled between the Ben Ohau ranges and Lake Pukaki, in the Mackenzie Region, New Zealand, Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat offers accommodation to high end domestic and international guests in four luxury villas.  Spread over 150 acres, the Retreat also has a wedding and function centre with outdoor wedding ceremony spaces.  From our wine cellar observatory, we offer unique stargazing and astrophotography experiences. Our yearly programme of food, wellness, fundraising, and inspirational events requires creative and varied approach from our cuisine team.

The Head chef role is varied and there is plenty of scope to develop your own creativity, signature dishes, and expertise within our cuisine values, ‘cooked from scratch, local, seasonal, fine dining with a rustic flair’.  

Our service is personalised, and guest centred. The Head Chef will interact with guests regularly, including introducing the menu or providing cooking demonstrations.  Our team is small and very competent and are fun to work with.

As featured on Lap of Luxury Series 2, the Retreat is a unique luxury experience for high end domestic and international guests where a Head Chef will have the opportunity within a unique position to thrive. 

Head Chef position in small New Zealand Luxury Lodge

Do you have a passion for food and scratch cookery? Do you dream of capturing the ‘tastes of nature’ in your cuisine? Are you self-motivated and committed with experience in quality establishments? Are you resourceful, creative, and hardworking?  Do you enjoy a rural lifestyle within an awe-inspiring landscape? Do you have experience as a head chef that is transferable to this role?

Highlights of this position:

  • Huge role variety and opportunities to express your creativity and expertise in a luxury lodge environment.
  • Creating delectable fine dining, slightly rustic, menus that present the best New Zealand cuisine that is simple, fresh, local, seasonal, and cooked from scratch.
  • Mackenzie Basin rural location offering a great lifestyle out of the city.
  • Package includes accommodation if required.
  • Truly amazing setting including extensive chef’s garden which you will oversee.

Here is a rare opportunity to craft a small continuously evolving and changing seasonal menu for our discerning guests to enjoy.   Bake your own sourdoughs, craft homemade yogurt and muesli.  Champion our local salmon, Angus beef and lamb, slow cooked meats, and charcuterie. Prepare vege and berries straight from the garden. Take it back to the basics, respect your ingredients, your craft and present it with flair.   This is delicious fine dining with a rustic influence.

Develop yourself and your craft working across a wide range of applications.  

This role includes:

  • Plan and provision our succinct, slightly rustic, fine dining seasonal menus using local produce and proteins.
  • Develop and foster positive team and supplier relationships.
  • Manage a small kitchen team, helping to develop their skills and expertise.
  • Prepare guest meals including in room treats, chef choice 3 course evening meal, and breakfast items.
  • Plan and cater for weddings, conferences, and special events.
  • Help plan the chef’s garden and preserve excess produce.
  • Match local wines to the menu and provide input to our carefully curated wine cellar collection.
  • Arrange staff and owner’s meals when required;
  • Maintain food safety standards and practices using CHOMP.
  • Understand and maintain sustainable outputs with minimal wastage.

This opportunity will most likely suit a person who loves variety and yearns to live in a rural environment where they can take advantage of the natural beauty and activities of the Mackenzie region. The Retreat is 30 minutes from the Aoraki Mt Cook village and National Park and activities in the area include hunting, fishing, mountain biking, trails, rock climbing, tramping, and skiing.  

Salary is commensurate with your experience, skills and expertise.  Applicants are required to attend an in person interview at the Retreat.

The Retreat is 10 minutes from Twizel and 2.5 hours from Queenstown. 

Applicants must have the right to work in New Zealand. 

If this sounds like you and you want to hear more about it, then please apply ASAP!

We are aiming for the successful applicant to start mid-late September 2022.  To apply please send your CV and a covering letter to or call 0274 885 599 for more information.



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PO Box 8654
Symonds Street Box Lobby
Auckland 1150
New Zealand

0800 NZCHEFS / 0800 692 433
09 365 1517

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